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October 01, 2009


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This (and the article cited in the previous post) is touched upon - amid many large themes - in a talk by Chris Hedges, derived from his latest book, Empire of Illusion:


Indeed, Hedges' eloquence is like a symphonic recap of many major progressive analyses, along with his own thinking. The economy is an e CON omy - my question for him, which I did not hear him address in his talk (perhaps he does in the book): given how vast, pervasive, and ongoing is the Con, how did we USians get to be so gullible? Are we any less so now that we're all social media experts on Twitter?


Meant to include this interview - see, among other things, his citation of "inverted totalitarianism" -



But what does tie me to, and to you, is that utter importance of the sacred. And you know Karl Polanyi, this great economist in 1944, wrote a book called “The Great Transformation” in which he said that a society that no longer recognizes the sacred, that exhausts everything for profit, always kills itself. And I think that’s what we’re seeing. And as an economist, he actually used the word sacred. That human beings have an intrinsic worth, that the natural world has an intrinsic worth, beyond it’s potential to generate profit. -- Chris Hedges, from the interview linked in the second comment

Ken Burns National Parks piece is airing currently on PBS:


Early on, it does a good job presenting the friendship of Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir, two men who valued the sacred in nature and collaborated to serve and preserve it. Made me feel warm and wistful to consider it.

Phil Cubeta

Once the words like sacred, grace, love, community, get sent down to the marketing dept. while the real work is done by the MBAs with financial spreadsheets, the rest follows. Wealth Bondage with various scene rooms, some of which are themed as sacred.


Come on now, you hippies. The first class in my MBA program was all about how capitalism and money are sacred. What more could you want ? MBAs consider themselves to be very modern monks.

Phil Cubeta

More like the Knights of the Round Table on a Grail Quest, where the Holy Grail is Money.


heh ..


Who's calling whom a hippie? Anyway, I own that nickname. When I finally get Andy to connect my VOIP resources, you'll be able to call me an (866) HIP-PIE0 (he has three more final numbers too). He had it forward to my desk phone with the caller id saying it was coming from my home number.


If money is so sacred, how come they don't take care of it very well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXlxBeAvsB8


The article is kind of stupid too. What were the Forbes 400 worth before the Reagan era? No doubt it did grow from $x/fat cat to 1.57T$ -> 39B$/fat cat, but it wasn't from 100K$, it was a lot more than than already.

The real scandal is probably that the bubble economies created by the low marginal income tax rates is fleacing the upper-middles and lower-uppers a lot more than us dumpster dwellers. After all, that's where all the money is. They already got all of mine.

Phil Cubeta

"The already have all of mine...." Good to have you here again Gerry.


I never left really. Just haven't visited in a while. You are often in my thoughts.

I noticed a while ago that WealthBondage.com is no longer operating. Sad to see it gone, such fond memories. I guess Candidia's empire must be struggling to stay afloat, she must have forgotten to go long on volitility.

Phil Cubeta

Good point. The old material is intact behind a firewall. Now that my role is more public, I get googled alot and have to be a little more concsious of propriety, as do politicians, conmen and thieves working from inside a firm to strip it bare.

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